barley fields

The Imperial Oyster Stout

Posted by Cryermalt

Last month Cryermalt’s own Tom Madams went down to brew a collaboration Imperial Oyster Stout with Eli Haines of Three Boys Brewery in Christchurch. This beer is a variation on their famous Oyster Stout – the most medal-winning dark beer in New Zealand!

In addition to the signature ingredient, the Oyster Stout is brewed using a range of malts from Cryermalt, including Marris Otter for the base, Weyermann® Wheat, Carafa®, Caramunich®  and CaraAroma®, Bairds Amber and Barrett Burston Roasted Barley.

An Award Winning Oyster Stout

The Oyster Stout has been a huge success since Three Boys first brewed it in 2006, knowing then that they’d probably hit on a winner. “Of all our recipes, this one has stayed pretty much the same as the original.” The awards this beer has won are so numerous they’ve started to lose count, but include four trophies for “Best in Class” from the New Zealand Beer Awards.

“It seldom misses out on a medal – we are very proud of this beer!”

The Oyster Stout is a seasonal beer, with brewing starting at the beginning of Bluff oyster season (around March). The first brew is underway as close to the start of the season as possible, but not ready till May, because this is not a beer to be rushed! Then they continue to brew through to the end of the oyster season in September and usually sell out by Christmas.

Three Boys Brewery started out in 2004 (taking their name from a Chinese firework). Head brewer Eli Haines has been part of the team since 2010, and there are four other full-time employees and a couple of part-timers. So it’s a lean, small-scale brewery with a very local focus and a high concentration of talent.

Like many Christchurch businesses in recent years, they’ve had their share of ups and downs, but “our very loyal support from our locals has allowed us to build a good, stable business,” says Eli.

Three Boys aren’t shy of collaborating with other brewers. “We have done a few now, always fun to hang out and collaborate with like-minded companies.” At one point Eli did a brew with London-based Gypsy Hill Brewing Co., for the UK market. Next up, they are looking forward to collaborating with another Christchurch brewery, Southpaw Brewing, to brew a Double NZ IPA which will be out around mid August.

Something else to look out for is Three Boys’ Pineapple Milkstout, which they are planning to brew again before the end of winter!

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